May 20, 2024

Thursday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 5/9/2024

Free orange juice will stay on the menu for visitors, despite budget slice

Free orange juice will continue to flow at Florida interstate welcome centers while state citrus officials adjust to a pending 10 percent legislative budget cut for their promotional efforts. The Florida Citrus Commission on Thursday will be asked to approve a $225,000 contract with Visit Florida about the welcome-center refreshment, a reduction of $25,000 from the past. Free cups of juice had been a staple of welcome centers since 1949, according to Visit Florida, and an outcry brought back funding for the promotional effort in 2020. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Slow-speed planning

As Brightline officials celebrated strong ridership numbers from their new Orlando-to-Miami high-speed rail line late last year, talk of looking west to Tampa seemed to pick up steam. Dozens of Tampa officials and business leaders led by Mayor Jane Castor spent a November day riding the train that tops out at 125 mph, with plenty dreaming of a day they can zip past Interstate 4 logjams. Things have gone quiet since then. [Source: Florida Trend]

Greenhouse-grown hops? Florida scientists brewing up new potential

University of Florida scientists have been endeavoring for years to make hops a staple crop of the Sunshine State. Less-than-ideal growing conditions though (shorter daylength, weather extremes, disease pressures, among others) remain a challenge and have ultimately kept beer’s main ingredient a novelty crop in Florida — so far. That could be changing sooner than later thanks to a new study that puts hop production in greenhouses. [Source: Growing Produce]

Hottest temperatures so far this year are impacting most of Florida

Florida’s hottest months have not officially arrived, but this week temperatures could reach the hottest so far this year, and heat indices could reach the triple digits in places as far north as Jacksonville. Luckily, the heat will be quickly tamed, for a few days, by a cold front that will come to the rescue saving the weekend for at least the northern half of the Sunshine State. [Source: WUWF]

Don’t fall for these hurricane season misconceptions

There are many myths when it comes to hurricane season and believing them could cause you and your family to make costly mistakes when preparing for a storm. From what the most dangerous aspect of a hurricane is to what damages are covered by insurnace, here are some of the most common myths related to hurricane season. [Source: Click Orlando]


› New report analyzes pros of historic preservation in St. Petersburg
As newcomers flock to St. Petersburg in droves and new buildings rise, historic preservationists are urging city leaders to plan for future growth without bulldozing over the past. A new report commissioned by the group Preserve The Burg, outlines the benefits of protecting St. Petersburg’s older properties during a time of rapid development. Though nearly half of all buildings in the city were built before 1960, less than 1% have any regulatory protections.

› Economic Development Week a time to celebrate Orlando's wins
Central Florida has experienced transformational growth since the time Economic Development Week (May 6-10 this year) was created in 2016 by International Economic Development Council as a time for North Americans to celebrate economic developers' contributions that help create more economically robust communities.

› Bloomin’ Brands CEO David Deno is retiring
Tampa-based Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of restaurants like Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill, announced this week that David Deno, its chief executive, is retiring. Deno is stepping down after 12 years with the company, according to a media release. He spent the last five years as CEO and a member of the board of directors.

› Does Cuba own this Key West landmark? Heir of Castro victim seeks sale of historic center
One of the most iconic buildings in Key West, built by Cuban exiles in the 19th century as they fought for independence from Spain and now a Cuban heritage center, is in the midst of a legal battle over its ownership. The surprising question at the heart of the litigation: Whether the San Carlos Institute, on Key West’s storied Duval Street, actually belongs to the government of Cuba.

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